There’s nothing like a big, beautiful pregnant tummy to open up conversation, even the uninvited type! If you have been happily preparing for your birthing day and feeling pretty positive, the last thing you want is someone coming along and pi*sing on your parade,
so how can you keep the positive vibe alive?
My belief is that every woman should be able to birth their baby, wherever, whenever and however they choose full stop; your body, your baby, your birth!
Aside from the fact that this is a basic human right, I believe this because I know how difficult it is to keep that positive momentum in the face of adversity. Assumptions made about birth choices that perhaps fall out of the ‘norm’ shouldn’t be assumed to be selfish or unsafe even.
There are simply no guarantees with anything, including a well researched, well prepared birthing Mama, however – when you grow and nurture a small person for 40+ weeks for anyone to suggest that the safety of your baby is not paramount to you is a really bitter pill to swallow and it happens a lot – even from medical professionals!
Doubt is powerful and emotive. Whether this is on a very conscious level, or lurking below the surface, the opinions of our loved ones (and even not so loved ones) can affect how we feel about our birth preferences and inevitably our confidence, something I definitely have firsthand experience of.
Until I sported one of those big, beautiful luscious bellies, I had no idea how much people would feel entitled to comment; whether this be how I looked, to how hideous child-birth would be to
'whaaaattttt – you want to have your baby at home????’
I found the constant stream of judgement very difficult, especially as many of the comments were completely unfounded by fact and just stuff being projected upon me. I thought the second time around having done it all before, people would be less inclined, but NO...it was so much worse!
So even for the most head strong of Mama’s this is tough. Growing a baby is a beautiful miracle, there is a lot going on though – the physical changes, the spiraling hormones - just to name a couple; this alongside other contextual forces can leave you feeling pretty bloody vulnerable.
Being whooshed in to a position where you are not just making decisions for you, but also for this little person(s) inside and further more these other people who also want a say in how you do things is tough enough!
So, how do you stick to your guns and stay with that confidence?
Well, hypnobirthing is a great place to start; the Calm Birth School course offers full ante-natal education – offering plentiful information about choice, procedure, where to birth etc. The techniques are simple and effective to practice which help to shift anxiety, leaving you feeling confident and empowered. You will release tension and fear – which for obvious reasons both huge benefits to you and your partner.
I know that as a couples’ therapist, I’m bringing that to the mix – even if unintended. My approach is therefore a bit different to say a midwife-led course, but I think this has its advantages because all of this stuff is emotive and you many not always find yourselves on the same page. Tensions can be untangled - creating space for the dream team to emerge - ready to ward of those negative vibes!
Hypnobirthing with me and the Calm Birth School might be the perfect antidote for dealing with outside negativity and here are 6 more simple things you can do to protect those positive vibes:
4. Make use of the people who ARE supportive; I purposely found respite where I knew it would be given freely and lovingly in the safe space of a like-minded friend (featured in the birth above) who stabilised me even during my biggest wobbles and of course by my in-laws, Mum and husband who had all the faith!
5. Listen to your intuition; this deserves a top spot in your preparation. Remember how brilliantly your body has worked already in growing your little person - it's highly underrated.
6. Affirm, affirm, affirm!!! Listen to them, look at them and say those amazing little affirmations out loud! Seriously - it works. You can purchase my Mother's Little Helper cards here- 25 lovely individual cards, printed on gorgeously silky paper and housed in a little tin of love to remind you have how fucking amazing you and your body is whilst growing a baby.
You’ve got this! There isn’t a right or a wrong way to birth your baby, but it’s so, so important to keep those negative nellies at bay! And it’s okay to ask them to refrain from passing judgement or offering unwelcomed advice.
A beautiful, pregnant belly does not give people license to comment, touch or share their uninvited thoughts – no matter how helpful they may think they are being!